How to Plan a Catch-Up Day Using Google Sheets

As you work hard to stay on top of your daily tasks, you find that some tasks are piling up around your home. Things like cleaning out the gutters or organizing a closet you want to get to, but higher priority things keep getting in your way.

As undesirable as it may sound, you may need to schedule a catch-up day and do them all at once—or at least as many of them as possible. The to-do list template in Google Sheets will help you with that and help you figure out where to start.

How to find and use the to-do list template in Google Sheets

Once you’ve signed into your Google Sheets account, you’ll see a prompt at the top of the page Start a new spreadsheet. Here you can choose to work with a blank sheet or a recently used template. Google also suggests others that you can use.

If you don’t see them to-do list Template displayed, you can find it by selecting the Template Gallery in the upper right corner. It’s under the personally direction near the top. Click in the sheet and name it catch-up dayincluding the date next to it.

You’ll notice some placeholder information that tells you how the template works. It uses conditional formatting to cross out and gray out tasks when ticked. Of course, you can change this if you want, but your catch-up list doesn’t have to be pretty to get the job done.

How to schedule a catch-up day with Google Sheets

The idea of ​​a catch-up day is that you try to complete as many backlogged tasks as possible within that date. Backlogged tasks are those that you want or need to get done, but have put on hold to attend to other priorities. Still, they might nag you. You can probably think of a thing or two by now.

A catch-up day will erase some of those tasks from your mind. You can schedule this on a day off or a day when you are not too busy with other commitments. It’s not about working off the entire backlog, but tackling as many points as possible.

So to plan a catch-up day with the to-do list template, you don’t need the date column. Instead, you can swap it out with priority or weight.

priority column

The idea of ​​a priority column is to assign a number between one and three to your task. One has the highest priority and three the lowest. Instead of taking the time to focus on the order you want to get things done without knowing how the day will go, you can decide what comes next as you work.

weight column

Using a weight column, assign a number between one and three depending on how long or challenging a task might be. One is the easiest and three require the most focus or energy. That way you don’t spend a lot of time organizing your list when creating your plan.

Choose what you want to do based on time and how you’re feeling. It’s best to start with one of your least desirable or most difficult tasks to get it out of the way.

Adding your tasks

Avoid overthinking your assignments as you write them down. The first step is to add them to your list, and the next is to add a priority or weight instead of trying to predict the best order.

How to use the sort function in the Google Sheets to-do list template

If you want to quickly identify all of your highest priority or most important tasks, click the three lines next to the column title. A menu will appear in which you can make your selection Sort A-Z or Sort ZA.

If you sort AZ, you get the lowest number first and ZA the highest. The quickest way to stop sorting is to use Cancel option in the To edit menu or CMD + Z or CTRL + Z.

Some tips for planning and executing your catch-up day

It’s one thing to make a list, but now you have to pull it off. Once you’ve checked off a few points, you won’t regret it. Here are some tips to keep in mind throughout the process:

  • Make your list ahead of time to avoid using your catch-up time to plan. You can do this well in advance and add when you have things on your mind, or even the day before. Whatever works best for you.
  • Avoid thinking too much when writing your first list. Write things down as they come to mind and then go through them.
  • As you go through your list to prioritize or give weight to your tasks, you may notice some that are difficult to categorize. Especially with tasks that you keep getting behind, you may want to gauge whether they need to be done at all or whether you can let go of them to focus on other things.
  • Google Docs and Sheets are easy to share, meaning you can collaborate with a friend on a catch-up day.
  • Don’t sweat it if you can’t make it through your list in a day; Simply transfer the tasks to your next make-up day. Alternatively, you can put them in a backlog in software like Notion and do them as you can.
  • Rating your tasks by weight doesn’t mean you should do all three first. Go with the flow.
  • The best place to start is at your most challenging task, but if you’re struggling to motivate yourself, aim for a few quick wins to get you into the groove.
  • To complete the remaining tasks on your list and avoid needing another make-up day soon, work on one backlog item a day if possible—even if it’s just fifteen minutes.

Get caught up in the to-do list template on Google Sheets

Facing those nagging tasks in your backlog is intimidating. There’s a reason you didn’t do it right away, but it will be a relief to cross it off your list. Sometimes all you need is a catch-up day to get ready to get things done — and the to-do list template on Google Sheets is the perfect place for hassle-free planning.

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